Working Group for Mass Storage Management

TBattle at TBattle at
Mon Nov 27 14:24:00 PST 1995

One of the newest working committees in the Desktop Management Task Force 
(DMTF) is focused on the issue of mass storage management.  The effort was 
kicked off in early October, and has grown to involve as many as 32 
representatives from 17 companies.  In just two days, the newly formed 
committee learned about the DMTF and how to write a MIF, developed a charter 
and scope, established subgroups, selected committee heads, created a list 
of management aspects to cover, and developed a timeline for delivery of the 
first draft for the Mass Storage MIF.

The Mass Storage MIF will cover storage technology used in desktop PCs, 
servers, external subsystems, RAID (redundant array of independent disks), 
and future technologies for networked storage, including fiber channel and 
SSA (Serial Storage Architecture).  The MIF will also support S.M.A.R.T. 
(self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology) Systems technology, 
which enables peripherals  - -  typically hard disks  - -  to provide remote 
notification of imminent failure.

One of the key areas for discussion will be the mapping of physical devices 
to logical entities, especially with RAID, since so many different 
algorithms are used to describe these systems.  Help with this challenge 
will come from the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) which is forming a 
RAID MIB (the SNMP equivalent of  MIF) Working Group.  Jointly, 
representatives from the two groups will work with the DMTF to define a 
standard RAID MIF thats consistent with SNMP requirements.  Through 
combined efforts and mind share, the team will be able to deliver a high 
degree of commonality for RAID management under both SNMP and DMI  - -  a 
request voiced frequently by customers of DMTF members.

To help reach their goal of delivering a first draft MIF by the middle of 
next year, the committee formed subgroups to define device attributes, 
interface controller attributes, and to address the issue of mapping 
physical and logical entities (including RAID).  They plan to meet as a 
whole every five weeks, with the subgroups meeting more frequently over the 
telephone.  They also have email and ftp sites for communication and posting 
of draft documents.  The next Working Group meeting will be held in Dallas 
on 12/3/95 - 12/5/95, and will coincide with the IETF general meeting.

The committee needs representatives for networked storage technology, mass 
storage devices (tape drives, CD-ROMS), and hierarchical storage management 
(HSM).  If youre interested and have expertise in these areas, contact the 
Working Group chairman, below:

Tom Battle, Chair
(408) 957-7245
TBattle at

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